900+ Mayo Clinic workers diagnosed with COVID-19 in past 2 weeks

More than 900 Mayo Clinic staff have contracted COVID-19 in the past two weeks, according to a Nov. 17 briefing by Amy Williams, MD, dean of clinic practice at the Rochester, Minn.-based system. 

Dr. Williams said most of the staff who have contracted the virus — 93 percent — did so in the community, according to the Post Bulletin

Of those who contracted COVID-19 at work, most did so while eating in a break room without wearing a mask, according to the report. 

The 905 newly diagnosed workers make up about one-third of the 2,981 Mayo staff in the Midwest who have been diagnosed with the virus since March. Across the Midwest, the system is experiencing a stable shortage of 1,500 staff, including 1,000 in Rochester, according to the report.

"It shows you how easy it is to get COVID-19 in the Midwest," Dr. Williams said, according to the report. "Our staff are being infected mostly due to community spread, and this impacts our ability to care for patients. We need everyone in the communities we serve to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19."

Mayo said it is taking several steps to help with staffing, including bringing retirees back from recent retirements and having research nurses move into patient care roles temporarily.

More articles on workforce:
22% of US hospitals anticipate a staffing shortage, HHS data shows
Mercy Health Muskegon makes call for nurses amid COVID-19 surge
Intermountain adds 200 traveling nurses, welcomes NYC nurses amid COVID-19 surge

Editor's note: This article was updated Nov. 18 at 10:30 a.m. CST.

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